[Disclaimer from Renee] – Since I have tried and failed at online dating–including a date where the guy literally tried to get me to sleep with him –I wanted to paint not only a positive but godly view of online dating. That doesn’t mean that eHarmony is the ONLY place to meet a future spouse or that Christian Mingle is correct in their advertising slogan “Find God’s Match For You.” It’s up to you and God to figure out if online dating is right for you. Please welcome my friend Julie as she shares her success story.
[Guest Post by Julie Anne Wilson] – 10 Tips Online Dating
There are a myriad of reasons why one might decide to try online dating. For me, I was 26, living with my parents and little sister, working at our family’s bedding company, going to the tiny church I had grown up in, and not meeting anyone.
It wasn’t that I was desperate and lonely. On the contrary I was quite content with my cozy, quiet, easy life.
I had a great group of friends and a wonderful family and enjoyed watching movies with my mom and sister at night. But at some point I realized–ok, after months of my aunt’s prodding – I realized that if I did in fact want my own love story and eventually my own family I would have to change something.
I would have to step out of my comfort zone.
Five years later, I am married to (and, no, I am not exaggerating) the BEST man in the entire world and we are expecting our first baby (a little girl) in February.
Brad loves the Lord, has a great job, makes me laugh, makes me breakfast (including lattes–no joke ladies), is quite good-looking, and treats me with the utmost love and respect. He is my best friend.
So, how did I do it?
But I still could have messed it up so here are my 10 tips online dating.
Tip #1 – Decide what you want to get out of this experience.
And if you are saying in your head right now “I just want to get some action”, go away. Seriously. You are ridiculous. What you should be looking for is a loving relationship that will lead to a loving marriage?
Don’t date just to date.
It’s a waste of time and it’s not fair to whatever poor soul you are stringing along.
Tip #2 – What kind of person are you looking for?
Right down your thoughts. Make a list.
Get a good idea before you start looking. It’s easy to get distracted. However, also know that the Lord may have other plans for you so be open to His leading as well.
Tip #3 – Choose the right dating site.
You have lots of choices, most of them terrible. The name will usually tip you off. For instance, datehookup.com? Probably not a good choice, unless you were the one looking for action in which case–this one’s for you! Personally, I don’t think there is anything better than eHarmony. It just makes sense.
Tip #4 – When filling out your profile or answering personality test type questions.
Be honest. Painfully, brutally honest. What, pray tell, would be the point of getting someone to fall in love with…not you? If it’s going to work and be successful in the long term you need to allow someone to fall in love with you “just as you are” (yes that is a quote from Bridget Jones’ Diary).
Tip #5 – Choose or take a nice picture.
Get the best possible lighting, wear something flattering (note: I did not say revealing), and smile! This is the very first impression you will be giving, so make it a good one.
Tip #6 – You should now be looking at all of your matches!
Congratulations! Now go through and delete any matches with sleazy pictures. If it looks like and Abercrombie ad just say no.
Tip #7 – Close as many matches as you can.
As you go through the remaining profiles (and there might be many) refer to your list and don’t feel bad about closing matches. You will feel a tug if there is something about someone that makes you want to read more.
Try not to be too swayed by looks, age, or vocation.
Concentrate on their heart.
I’m not saying that attraction doesn’t matter, it does. You should be attracted to your future spouse.
But know that there are other factors that are so much more important. Brad was younger than I am (one of my definite “no’s”) and not quite as tall or blonde as the man I had pictured in my head and he worked at a church which, to my understanding, meant he was one of those guys that was probably not going anywhere (I know, I’m a terrible person).
If I had passed him by for those superficial reasons I would have missed out on the love of my life and the most handsome and intelligent man I have ever known.
Tip #8 – You will come to a point where you have been talking to at least two different people, possibly more.
You are wondering how to discern who is right for you and who is not.
Do I keep talking to Joe from San Dimas?
What about Bob from El Cajon?
PRAY. Pray over your matches. Pray for guidance. Pray that you would ask them the right questions. Pray that the Lord would help you guard your heart.
Above all–keep your standards high! Don’t get so anxious to meet someone, anyone, that you allow yourself to go out with someone that you know isn’t right. It took me eight months to get matched with Brad.
Tip #9 – Be very selective about who you meet in person.
It will become infinitely harder to “close the match” once you’ve gone to coffee or mini golf than it is while you are still talking online or on the phone. Trust me. And make that first meeting just that. A meeting.
Meet over coffee or lunch but keep it very casual.
Hopefully you will already know a lot about this person so don’t feel pressured to grill them about anything. You’ve already done that. Just relax and see if you feel comfortable with them.
If not, graciously, and clearly, let them know that you will not be continuing the relationship.
Don’t drag it out.
Tip #10 – You’ve interrogated the poor soul online, chatted for hours on the phone, and now you’ve met him in person and he feels like an old friend.
Congratulations, you are on your way to a great relationship! You are also no longer dating online so I suppose my job here is done!
Bottom line, if you take nothing else away from this, remember this. Be yourself, cover the process in prayer, and be patient.
You may not need as much patience as I did – I was Brad’s very first match (not even fair) – but you should be prepared.
Julie Anne Wilson met her husband Brad through online dating (eHarmony.com). They just had their first child–Abigail Grace– on Wednesday (the 13th) of last week. She works at Taylor Linens where they make and sell the cutest stuff ever.